Gemayel to Appeal after Parliament Decides to OK Budget without Final Accountإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel on Thursday hinted that he might file an appeal before the Constitutional Council after Parliament approved a bill that allows it to pass the 2017 state budget without annual final accounts for 2016 and the ten years that preceded it.
A so-called final account details the state's revenues and spending at the end of a fiscal year.
“What was noteworthy in yesterday's session is the finance minister's acknowledgment that what Parliament is doing is unconstitutional and MPs' subsequent approval of this,” Gemayel told al-Jadeed TV, describing the move as a “blatant and shameless violation of the Constitution.”
“It is unacceptable to absolve any government of accountability or the submission of a final account; it is unacceptable to disregard the Court of Audit's role of supervising the state's functioning; and it is unacceptable to undermine Parliament's supervisory powers,” Gemayel added, noting that the Court of Audit is responsible for approving final accounts and sending them to Parliament.
The outspoken opposition MP stressed that his Kataeb Party had never agreed to the approval of a state budget without a final account seeing as that constitutes a “constitutional violation.”
Asked whether Kataeb will file an appeal against the state budget bill, Gemayel said: “We will not hesitate and we will see who will join us in signing the appeal.”
Earlier on Thursday, Gemayel tweeted that “it seems that covering up for the spending of $11 billion without final accounts was also a part of the presidential settlement” that led to the election of President Michel Aoun, describing the alleged secret agreement as a “collective violation of the Constitution.”
Disagreements over final accounts and political disputes were behind the long-running failure to approve a state budget.
The parliament is expected to approve the 2017 state budget later on Thursday. It will be Lebanon's first state budget in 12 years.